We had a great shoot yesterday. The weather even cooperated and the rain held off while we where outside - clean living I suppose;~) Hey, let's get right to today's post.
I have to admit, this one almost fell through the cracks around here at Digital ProTalk. I announced a contest weeks (months) ago (May 28, 2009) in my post entitled, "Business Day Thursday: Booking Weddings, How About Booking 5 Bonuses To Seal The Deal?" Only problem was - I forgot to announce the winner.
Well folks today is the day. We had lots of great suggestions - not quite 20, but who's counting? I've summarized them here after the jump. Hit the "Read More..." link below for all the great suggestions and the winner. Good ideas, thanks for sharing.
Here we go...
If you book with me now we will throw in a free DVD with video snippets and stills taken from our camera that can shoot both HD Video and High Resolution Stills.
Randy Gresham -
Suggested giving them a digital picture frame loaded with some of their images as incentive to book now not crazy expensive , but probably appreciated
Many album companies (specifically Tuscany) are printing "guest books". Cost runs under $50. Full images on one side of the page, same image ghosted on the other side for people to sign. "If you book today, I'll throw in a guest book with the images from your engagement."
Amancay said -
PhotoBook-esque set-up at the reception... with or without immediate print options!
I like to throw in one or two of these as surprise thank yous when I deliver the prints after the event...
An album (clear sleeve 3 ring) with selected 4x6 watermarked prints
"On-line sharing" CD of small (400x300) images for social networking sites
Engagement session is a easy adder
Discount of printed invites or thank you notes with an image from the engagement/wedding.
Small quick-time sideshow set to "their song" for i-pod, i-phone etc. (my website enables me to offer this as a free download)
Most of these are low capital - cost is mostly my time. Items that don't work for everyone, but can be custom tailored to each client. Non-digital folks like the print album. Full bore, no paper, live-on-the-network clients love the i-pod video slide show.
Pol suggested -
How about a complimentary bridal shower / kitchen tea shoot? It is often something the bride likes to look back on, but seldom has any decent photos of.
Another item that they might like for a bonus is a Christmas tree decoration with their photo on the ornament. Something like that can become an heirloom.
Couples may not be into large prints so much anymore, but grandparents still love to have a framed picture of their grand kids. An 8x10 or 5x7 with an inexpensive frame still looks very nice and creates an opportunity for B and G to include their favorite relatives or friends.
Jim suggested -
With the booking of a top-tier session, think about throwing in either:
A) A trash-the-dress shoot for the truly adventurous bride (these images are hard to get since the not too many brides want to kill their $??k dress. But talk about cool images for your portfolio...)
B) A post-wedding shoot of the bride in a few "exotic" locations around town. The dress lives on and you get more print sales (if you're not on a shoot-and-burn business model).
I know that when my wife & I were first married the first thing she wanted to do in our new home was to put up portraits in the hall of all our family members (both sides). For booking the top package why not offer the engagement shoot & a family portrait of each side of the family.
You might also shoot portraits of family members that don't have siblings, grandmas, grandpas & the like. You might have to pitch the idea a bit; but I think most brides once they gave it some thought would think it's a great idea.
Ivan Makarov suggested -
A pack of business cards with their favorite image on it or/and a PDF sideshow. I always over deliver - give them something at the end which they didn't expect. That leaves a good memory.
Here's Looking at You! Photography suggested -
A Signature or Sign In board. No one does signatures anymore! I have found this popular with high school senior parties and weddings. A smaller print in a larger frame with double mat. Say 8 x 10 of their best engagement photo (a good way to get this business) in a 16 x 20 frame and get signatures at the reception on the mat of the family and friends. It's something nostalgic and it does not get thrown away. Maybe tucked away over time, but never thrown out with the bathwater, so to speak!!
Caitlin said -
I really love doing Press products with my lab--throwing in some nice custom designed Thank You cards, Save The Date cards, or even Holiday cards (if the wedding is close enough)is great, and different. A lot of my brides don't think about doing those with their images, and really love this idea--also another fun way to get my portraits, designs, and logo out there!
Carole said -
I'm offering a variety of choices at different price levels, so each client can pick something if they book quickly enough. At the same time, this lets them see some of the other things that I offer, without me having to point them out myself. : )
Kevin Halliburton suggested -
Throw in a guest photo booth at the reception where you can put one of your back-up bodies to work for free, letting all of the guests shoot wacky candids of themselves as a gift to the bride and groom. Add a small erasable white board that guests can use to scribble a message to the couple as part of the photo. It would give the guests something to do while you wrap up the formals and the couple will end up with a very personal and fun photo registry of smiles and warm wishes from their friends.
Added bonus for you - Give the couple a free small print of the shots but also set up a slide show of the photo booth creations at the reception and give guest the opportunity to purchase low cost prints of their own shots as mementos.
Elizabeth Ashley Riddle said -
I do not include print credits in my packages, so I offer a gift certificate towards the purchase of prints or an album if they book within the week. I also offer three copies of a custom twelve month photo calendar of their best images if they book during the initial consultation. These calendars are great because they aren't super expensive and clients just go crazy over them. Also, I always create an Animoto video of their photo sessions and send it to them as a surprise after the wedding with a hand-written thank you note. I include the disk and thank you note in a 5x7 tri-fold pocket folio, and I always include a 5x7 from their wedding for free. I wrap all of this up with a polka dot ribbon and deliver it in a custom bag. This always leaves my customers very happy.
Ty Mattheu suggested -
Why not offer to cover the cost and labor of creating and submitting newspaper wedding announcement for up to three newspapers. Not too much money, but an item off their checklist.
Ty added - In my experience, its hard to avoid this, but its worth mentioning. I think its important to ask first for the business WITHOUT the incentive to sign today. My close should reflect on the value of my product -- "now that we've fleshed out your idea of the perfect wedding, let's get started today on setting aside some dates..." not immediately go to the freebies "you like my work, and I'd like to work with you. If we get started today, I'll throw in the engagement session." I think that going to the giveaway too quickly reflects poorly on the value proposition you worked so hard to establish in the presentation. Just a thought.
I offer a complimentary engagement session if booked within a week of the initial meeting. I offer all of the e-session images for use for table settings, gifts (coasters, cards, etc.), invites, etc. Engagement sessions are great because it helps me get comfortable with the couple as well as gives them some time to get comfortable in front of the camera.
Frank Wilson said...
I would like to think I booked three weddings this week, based on the reactions from my clients, when I introduced the gift registry to them. I use my gift cards in my bridal gift registry. When I book, or try to book the client, I ask them to include me on their gift registry and to let their guest know that. When a guest registers with me, there is a $50 minimum, I will send my client a confirmation that $50 has been applied to their account from Mr. or Mrs. John Doe. Mr. or Mrs. John Doe would get a $50 gift card from Frank Wilson Photography for a portrait session or maybe images from the wedding. It's a win-win situation. Mr. or Mrs. John Doe gets credited for a gift to the bride and groom and in turn, they get a gift also. The bride and groom has $50 less to pay on their account or apply it to a package upgrade. How about that for a $3.00 piece of plastic. Better than getting a toaster or some ugly sheets.
Hey gang, some great ideas here - worth giving a try for your upcoming bookings.
And the winner is.... drum roll please.... ???
All the way from Australia, its Pol from White Forge Photos with her suggestion about photography the bridal shower or wedding tea for the client. I like the idea because all you would need to schedule would be about and hour so much time required.
The peripheral benefit of this shot is the fact that you get to meet and greet the bride's best friends and family - probably another wedding somewhere in the crowd and you get to them first. Congrats! Pol. Drop me a email at david@ ziser.com and I'll get your $50 B&H gift card in the mail.
My thanks to all those who took the time to participate by leaving your suggestions for the benefit of our readers. I received lots of good ideas that should benefit anyone and everyone in their businesses. Just take one or two of these ideas and adapt them to your own business plan.
Hey folks, that's it for me again today. I'm still going a mile a minute trying to get some posts in the bank for next week. I promised LaDawn no more that 30 minutes a day blogging on our vacation next week so it’s back to the keyboard. Adios, -David